The Voter Protection Act

Inspired, in part, by the repeal of Proposition B (not to mention the modification and/or repeal of several other voter initiatives), the Voter Protection Act would modify the state Constitution to require a three-fourths majority vote to modify a citizen initiative.

Missouri is one of only ten states where the legislature can turn around and modify or even complete gut a voter initiative. And, as we saw in the recent legislative session, far too many of our elected officials are more interested in placating special interests than in actually implementing the will of the people.

The Secretary of State has vetted the language of the bill, which means the next step is gathering signatures. If you’re interested in helping, you can volunteer at the Voter Protection Alliance web site.

Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs Voting

This fight is not over

I see that Missouri Farmers Care has moved on from fighting for the puppy mills and is now fighting for genetically modified foods. I expect next we’ll see an article about the healthful benefits of CAFO manure lagoons.

Governor Nixon signed SB 161. That’s all that’s happened. He signed a bill that gutted Proposition B. Oh, a few token provisions have been left, but you and I know that the breeders will find their way around these new provisions. I do not expect to see much change in the large scale commercial dog breeding operations in this state.

I remember, either from an article or during the House or Senate debates, someone asking one of the SB 113/SB 161 folks, “Were the breeders asked about the new SB 161 provisions, and if so, were they happy with them? Did they agree with them?” How very nice for agribusiness in Missouri that they have the final say on regulations impacting on them. Most businesses just have to accept what comes their way, but not agribusiness. Not in Missouri.

Regardless of the hypocrisy, and the total disregard for the voters—not to mention Nixon’s patronizing attitude about what we voters “meant” and how SB 161 is “good enough”—this fight is not over.

I imagine there might be legal challenges to the new law, especially the emergency provision. We also know there’s at least one ballot item being put forward for 2012 that will prevent such arrogant brushing aside of the voters wishes in the future. In the meantime, though, I am following my plan on exposing large scale commercial breeders to the world.

The breeders will never know if that person who contacts them about the puppies they’re selling online is a genuine buyer, or someone checking to see what excuse they give for not allowing the potential buyer to visit.

The FTC and the Missouri Attorney General work to protect consumers from deliberate misrepresentation and fraud. That cute little web site that states the breeder is a small family breeder with only a few dogs, better have exactly that, or they will find themselves at the end of an FTC and/or Missouri Attorney General complaint.

Starting the day after Proposition B would have gone into effect, every bad breeder that should be closed down, and would have been closed down under Proposition B’s more stringent guidelines will be exposed to the world—along with the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s laxity in enforcing true standards. With each publication, the names of the representatives, and Governor Nixon’s, will be included in the coverage—as a reminder of what they have enabled.

I also plan on spending a lot of time among the boxes of inspection records at the Department of Agriculture in Jefferson City. We’ll see exactly what that 1.1 million of extra money designated by Nixon buys us. It better buy us a lot, and not just fluff pieces on web sites.

I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to say, “Oh, well, we tried. Buck up, poochies”. This isn’t the end of the fight, it is only the beginning.



I and my roommate went to the polls at 5:30 this morning, and there was already a line of about 20 people or so. By the time the voting opened at 6am, the line was about 100-200 people in length, and there was no room for cars. In fact, I can definitely say that voting at the Cure of Ars is going to be a problem today, and not just because the street to the place, Laclede Station Rd, will be closed from 10-1.

But, I’m done. I was prepared, though thankfully I brought all my various IDs today, because I was mistaken on what was acceptable. Actually, my bad, but I had a backup. I also thought I picked paper voting, but had the computer slip, which ended up being the longer line. Again, my bad, as I checked the wrong box. It was 6am.

This was my first time using the computer, and it was actually quite nice—created a paper trail that you could check as you voted. These machines are taking over, eventually we’re going to have to start trusting them. Besides, I had the computer slip, not the paper slip. Mustn’t screw with the slips. Democracy as we know it will fall if we screw around with the slips.

But I’m done. Done. Done. Done.

Now comes the waiting.

I miss the mechanical voting booths, where you pulled a lever and it closed a curtain. You flipped switches next to names, and when you were done, pulled another level that tallied your vote and opened the curtain.

Once that curtain was closed, the rest of the world was shut out. It was just you, the machine, the switches, and your vote. When you voted at one of these machines, you felt like you were participating in a ritual, not a pop quiz. There was something very satisfying at that moment when you pulled the lever the second time, and heard all the mechanical switching going on behind you, as the curtain swooshed open, readying the box for the next participant.

Now, you push a confirm button, and screen goes blue (an ominous color), and that’s it—move your butt, let someone else in.

And I didn’t even get an “I voted” sticker.